Open Thread: Money Flower Episodes 17 & 18

Wouldja look at that expression on Pil Joo’s face? That’s pure determination, backed with a calculated shrewdness that smacks of danger. Wow. I feel rather hypnotized, honestly.

I hope you guys are ready to chat about Money Flower episodes 17 & 18! Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. I repeat: no spoilers for future episodes please! We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this pair of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 17

The secrets are coming out faster than I’d imagined, this episode, and man, does this throw a lot into disarray. 😱

The way Mo Hyun confronts Pil Joo about his secret feels very measured and deliberate. It feels like she’s thought about the various pieces for a long time, and has comes to terms with the fact that there is a complicated story behind Pil Joo’s decision to hide his identity and live in such close proximity to Cheong A.

I feel that it’s worth noting, that even through all of this, Mo Hyun still displays her trademark empathy. Even as she considered Pil Joo’s various identities, along with the fragments of his story that she knows, Mo Hyun takes the time to think about what had caused Pil Joo to attempt to take his own life, as a teenager, and she acknowledges that it must have been something so terrible and despicable that she can’t even fathom it.

Perhaps it’s partly Mo Hyun’s honest, considered, thoughtful approach; perhaps it’s also partly the fact that there’s no getting around the truth of the necklace, now that his words about having received it from his father, are laid out next to what Ms. Icheon had told Mo Hyun about the father-to-son tradition around it; Pil Joo’s actually agrees to tell Mo Hyun the bald, ugly truth, provided she’s ready to hear it, and I’m somewhat nervous in response.

That truth includes how Pil Joo had manipulated people and events, in order to have Mo Hyun marry Boo Cheon, and that’s the thing that’s quite foundational to Mo Hyun’s character. I can’t help thinking that she can’t possibly take this well. 😬

Meanwhile, Boo Cheon shows some.. unexpected colors, in his efforts to stand on his own strength, without Pil Joo’s help.

I’m honestly quite startled at how he threatens Seo Won with a knife, to get her to drop her intention of holding the press conference. That’s so unlike Boo Cheon, who’s, up to this point, come across as bumbling and benign. Now, though, there is a hardness and what appears to be shades of crazy, in his eyes, as he “pleads” with Seo Won. Plus, it all feels so calculated, with Boo Cheon even making arrangements for Ha Jung to be taken out of the room, so that he wouldn’t be startled by the violent conversation he knows he’s about to have with Seo Won.

It’s all very disorienting, and it feels like Boo Cheon’s a completely different person, almost. I’m quite shocked, really, that this kind of violent, manipulative behavior seems to come so naturally to Boo Cheon; perhaps he’s learned a lot, while growing up around his mother?

It’s only afterwards, while Boo Cheon cries in the car, that I feel like there’s a disconnect between the person Boo Cheon wants to be, and the person that he sees himself becoming. In this moment, it almost feels like he’s mourning the loss of the good(ish) person he’d wanted to be.

What’s interesting to me, though, is how, after Boo Cheon’s cried those tears, he doesn’t seem to slow down at all, in his decision to embrace depravity. Right after his cry in the car, he makes it a point to let Mal Ran and Pil Joo see him replacing the dagger in Mal Ran’s desk drawer, and later in the episode, he even goes to Yong Goo’s hideout uninvited, to assert his presence. He’s clearly decided that he wants to play hardball with Pil Joo, even if it means forsaking his perceived self in order to do so.

On a tangent, I just wanted to highlight that scene where Mal Ran’s all upset because Secretary Oh’s not being of help to Boo Cheon, Pil Joo’s allowed Boo Cheon to see Seo Won on his own, and she can’t get hold of Boo Cheon on the phone. The way she blurts out angrily, that there’s not a single man in Mooshimwon that she likes, I can’t help but think of how she tends to use her charms on men, in order to get what she wants. We’ve seen her do that with both Secretary Oh and Pil Joo, and now that both of them aren’t behaving in ways that align with what she wants, she can’t help but throw a bit of a tantrum.

Like I mention in my review of this show, this thing about Mal Ran just makes me feel a measure of disdain for her. It’s like she’s practically nothing, without her charms to manipulate the men around her. Definitely not the sort of role model I think young women should aspire to, for sure. 😪

While we’re on the topic of Mal Ran, I also think it’s worth noting that when Mal Ran notices the change in Boo Cheon, instead of becoming alarmed (as most normal human beings would, if they realized that their son was threatening someone else with a dagger), she actually gives credit to Pil Joo, that Boo Cheon’s managed to change so much, thanks to Pil Joo’s encouragement. This is Dysfunctional with a capital D, yes?

For all her twistedness, Mal Ran is pretty sharp, too. She picks up right away, on the fact that Mo Hyun appears oddly attached to a necklace that she claims to have simply picked up while on a field trip many years ago, which means that Mal Ran will henceforth be even more suspicious of anything to do with Mo Hyun and the necklace.

With the necklace changing hands several times this episode, from Mo Hyun to Pil Joo, and then back to Mo Hyun, and then to Mal Ran, and then to Boo Cheon, it feels like this web is getting more and more tangled, and I can’t help wondering how Pil Joo, as the rightful owner of the necklace, will ever get it back.

I’m very satisfied, though, with the way Pil Joo eliminates Yeo Cheon from his chessboard, by waiting for the right time to have Secretary Woo reveal to Grandpa Chairman, that Yeo Cheon was the one pushing for Seo Won to have a press conference. You gotta love Yeo Cheon’s shocked expression, as he processes the information, that he’s about to be sent off to informal exile in Myanmar, and therefore won’t be able to compete with Boo Cheon for the position of Vice Chairman. Muahaha.

In terms of surprising developments to wrap up our episode, I’m surprised that Boo Cheon – after telling Secretary Oh not to wait outside for him anymore, no less – actually seeks out Secretary Oh and confides in him that Pil Joo is actually Jang Eun Cheon. Ooh. I hadn’t seen that coming. It looks like Boo Cheon trusts Secretary Oh a great deal, if he’s willing to share that secret with him.

At the same time, I also think that the secret is so great, and his need to talk about it, so strong, that Boo Cheon might possibly choose a confidante, even if he’s only partially sure of that person’s reliability. Boo Cheon does look genuinely hurt, as he talks about how Pil Joo had kept this secret from him, for so many years.

On a tangent, it occurs to me that it must be complicated to be Secretary Oh right now; he’s got so many secrets, along with the many permutations of who knows what, to keep track of. 😝

I’m also surprised that Pil Joo is the one to seek out Mo Hyun, to talk about the truth, rather than the other way around. Somehow, I’d expected him to buy some time, by waiting for Mo Hyun to come to him. Instead, he sets the stage, and even calls Boo Cheon to let him know what he’s about to do. It smells like some sort of suicide mission, because he’s so deliberately setting it up so that he will come out looking like the blame belongs on his shoulders alone.

As expected, Mo Hyun doesn’t take well to the truth, and slaps Pil Joo. What I hadn’t expected, is how quickly she turns that blame on herself, and starts slapping herself, for falling into the trap that he’d set for her.

It’s heartbreaking to hear Mo Hyun talk about how terrified she’d been, when she’d dived into the water to save him, because she was afraid that he wouldn’t make it. It’s crazy to think that after all she’d done to save him, this is her unexpected “reward,” where her entire life is completely messed up, because of the boy she’d saved. How distressed Mo Hyun must be, to state that she’d have rather died in that car crash, so that she would’ve never come to know the ugly truth. Oof. That’s gotta hurt.

What a tortured, painful embrace, that Pil Joo gives Mo Hyun. I can’t help feeling like now, Pil Joo hates himself more than ever, and is even more ready to destroy himself than before. 😳💔

Episode 18

Woah. 😳 We get some Very Significant Developments this episode, and Show’s once again left my head spinning, as I try to figure out where Show is planning to take us next.

As Pil Joo confirms that Mal Ran, Grandpa Chairman, and even President Jang and Yeo Cheon had been aware of the scheme behind Mo Hyun’s marriage to Boo Cheon, it feels like a little more of Mo Hyun dies on the inside.

On the surface, Mo Hyun appears to still want to preserve her marriage to Boo Cheon, with the way she calmly tells him that she wants to go home, but her words to him outside the house, show how things stack up in her estimation.

“I was relieved, Boo Cheon-sshi, that from the marriage Kang Pil Joo had set up, at least the love between us had been real, but now, I don’t have anything left… because you disregarded our relationship.” Ooh. Burnnn. 🔥

That’s really quite grounded of her, to be able to keep things in focus, even though a bombshell’s just been dropped on her. She’s cognizant of the fact that, marriage scheme notwithstanding, she and Boo Cheon had actually been in love for real. I feel like if Boo Cheon hadn’t betrayed her, she would still find value in their marriage, despite its dubious beginnings.

I’m pleased about this, because it reminds Boo Cheon that his fault is greater, in betraying Mo Hyun, even though all he’d like to do right now, is blame Pil Joo for everything.

How disturbing is it, that Grandpa Chairman basically berates Mal Ran for not managing to get rid of Mo Hyun, the way she’d gotten rid of the children that her husband had had out of wedlock. Dude. He’s basically showing disapproval, because Mal Ran hasn’t had Mo Hyun murdered yet? 😱🤯

And then, when Mo Hyun plays him the damning recording of his conversation with Congressman Na, where he’d pleasantly suggested suicide as a means of cleaning up the situation, instead of feeling any sense of shame or embarrassment, Grandpa Chairman acts as if he’s righteously offended, and accuses Mo Hyun of criticizing him.

How crazy is it, that Mo Hyun, the one who’s wronged, becomes the guilty party in this situation, even though she has evidence of Grandpa Chairman’s wrongdoing?

This is so twisted, seriously. This whole scene has echoes of the court politics we see in sageuks, where a king might get offended at a subject for daring to question why the king had sentenced an innocent party to death. But the thing is, we aren’t in a sageuk world, and Grandpa Chairman isn’t a king, so this all feels extremely deviant and bizarre.

I guess this is just how things roll, on Planet Cheong A. Earthly laws and morals need not apply.

I can understand why Mo Hyun would feel the need to get herself a stiff drink; that’s probably the only way she can see, to escape this absurd reality that she lives in, even if it’s just for a while. Too bad for Boo Cheon, that that stiff drink translates into Mo Hyun earnestly saying Pil Joo’s name, in her dreams.

I’m not surprised that Mal Ran talks to Secretary Oh about potentially killing Mo Hyun, since he’s been her go-to killer for so long. And, I’m also not surprised that Mal Ran would confront Pil Joo about whether he knew about Grandpa Chairman’s conversation with Congressman Na.

What does surprise me, is how Pil Joo volunteers the information, that he’s told Mo Hyun about the scheme that had resulted in her marriage to Boo Cheon. I’m fascinated by the fact that Mal Ran consistently doesn’t see anything wrong with the fact that they had meddled in Mo Hyun’s life without her knowledge, and had lied, in order to get her to marry Boo Cheon.

“Is she complaining about her first encounter after five years? If you didn’t plan it for her, she could never have imagined of becoming Cheong A’s daughter-in-law.”

The way Mal Ran puts it, it’s almost as if they had done Mo Hyun a favor, by making arrangements for her to marry Boo Cheon.

How telling, that when Boo Cheon confronts Pil Joo to ask him why he’d told Mo Hyun the truth, Boo Cheon concludes – albeit with shades of desperation in his eyes – that it’s just as well, because now he can start over with Mo Hyun, and it’s Pil Joo who suggests that they respect Mo Hyun’s decision. And yet, even when he’s reminded so directly, that he’s not thinking about what Mo Hyun wants, Boo Cheon chooses to question Pil Joo, about whether Pil Joo’s planning to start over with Mo Hyun, after getting her out of Cheong A.

When Boo Cheon’s not even channeling his new, “evil” self, and is just being his normal self, and yet still talks like this, where he only shows self-interest, I really don’t like him very much.

“The first meeting where I approached her intentionally has always bothered me like a fish bone in my throat.” Really, Boo Cheon? You’re only bothered about how you felt, even though it was Mo Hyun whose life was getting messed with? If you love Mo Hyun as much as you say you do, where is your compassion for her? 🙄

With Boo Cheon and Mal Ran behaving in such distasteful ways, I can’t help getting satisfaction from seeing how Pil Joo basically engineers them into losing a huge chunk of shares – to the tune of 500 billion dollars! – as a way to freshen up Daeil Distribution’s image before it gets listed.

Pil Joo’s so sneaky and so shrewd. It’s completely his idea, but he manages to get Grandpa Chairman to embrace the idea as his own, and announce it as his own, and even apply pressure on Mal Ran and Boo Cheon as if it’s a personal offense to him, if they protest. Pil Joo’s so smooth, while looking so uninvolved and so innocent; I love it. 🤩

Boo Cheon’s clearly feeling more and more threatened by Pil Joo. The way he even trains his rifle at Pil Joo while they’re at the shooting range, says a lot, even though Boo Cheon brushes it off as a joke. He definitely is starting to toy with the idea of getting rid of Pil Joo, and he even says the words out loud to Secretary Oh – “Please kill Pil Joo for me” – and then follows it up with a caveat that while it’s a joke today, Secretary Oh should oblige, when Boo Cheon seriously asks him to carry out the task. Dang. That’s cold.

I suppose, using the analogy of the sageuk, everything becomes a different story, when an old friend is suddenly direct competition for the throne. 😬

I’m intrigued by Pil Joo’s suggestion to Secretary Oh, that he consider leaving Mooshimwon, before Boo Cheon becomes the Vice Chairman. Even though Secretary Oh is Mal Ran’s tool of choice when it comes to killing others, my gut tells me that Pil Joo’s suggestion perhaps has more to do with protecting Boo Cheon’s reputation (by removing his birth father from his context), rather than getting rid of Secretary Oh for the sake of it. Could it be an act of mercy on Pil Joo’s part? 🤔

I have to admit, I was very surprised by Boo Cheon’s move to bring Yeo Cheon back to Korea, instead of leaving him in exile, in Myanmar.

Clearly, he feels that it’s better to have Yeo Cheon on his side as he fights against Pil Joo, and clearly, Pil Joo picks up on it too, judging from the way he immediately checks the CCTV footage from his hospital room.

Just as Pil Joo had suspected, Boo Cheon had taken Pil Joo’s DNA for a test, and it’s clear that Boo Cheon is now in on Pil Joo’s secret.

I’m so impressed that even though this comes out of left field for Pil Joo, he is so quick and decisive, in terms of determining his next steps. That scene of his putting on his necklace (which we see that he’d swapped with his brother’s, so that the original necklace stayed with him), and getting dressed for battle, has similar coiled panther undercurrents, as the scene when he’d just woken up from his coma at the hospital.

I am so wowed by how Pil Joo just walks up to Grandpa Chairman and announces that he is Grandpa Chairman’s eldest grandson, Jang Eun Cheon. Woah. Talk about making an impression! 🤩

I’ve been waiting to see Grandpa Chairman’s face upon realizing Pil Joo’s true identity, and he does not disappoint. I love that shocked, blindsided, and completely flabbergasted expression on his face.

In contrast, Pil Joo’s expression is sad and tearful, which demonstrates that this is all very personal to him. He’s not taking pleasure in Grandpa Chairman’s discombobulation, and that gives this whole scene a strong aftertaste of pathos, to my eyes.

Talk about a confrontation between two powerful forces. 😱 I have no idea how this conversation is going to go, but I can’t wait to find out.

27 thoughts on “Open Thread: Money Flower Episodes 17 & 18

  1. Georgia Peach

    And finally, we see PilJoo drop a tear! 😢. For so long and for so often he has kept his tears back, but now in front of this person he has just called father…the tears flow. So much pent up pain and emotion. He has been so wronged by these people for so long and the memory of his poor drowned dead brother comes flooding in and the tears flow out. Our PilJoo is going to claim what is his and only his…how successful will he be ????

    Reply
  2. Georgia Peach

    “That scene of his putting on his necklace (which we see that he’d swapped with his brother’s, so that the original necklace stayed with him). “
    Okay… I’m confused about the necklaces. This is my second watch and I still can’t follow the necklaces. This is what I think I know is right. MoYoung picked PilJoo’s necklace up at the river edge. She kept it. She gave it to PJ when she outed him as a Jang. She had to retrieve it from him to give to MalRa. MalRa gave that necklace to BCheon, right? How did PJ get that from BC and when? And the photo of PJ (or was that baby brother in the photo) and his dad in the necklace..did PJ put it there? PJ had his younger brother’s necklace? It was the one he took from the safe? Was that the one he put on to go to grandpa dragon? Or was it his he put on? Color me confused.
    Agree once again with all the insights into these fascinating characters of Money Flower. The only person who has no conscience is grandpa. Guess it’s true what the Bible says…his conscience is seared as with a hot iron. Picture Joseon torture techniques!

    Reply
    1. Snow Flower

      I am also confused by the necklace mystery. I thought MH had PJ’s necklace, which got confiscated by Mal Ran and given to Boo Cheon. So how did it end up back to Pil Joo? What happened to the dongsaeng’s necklace?

      I do agree that the scene of Grandpa and Pil Joo is legendary. The look on Grandpa’s face is priceless and Pil Joo’s tear is the icing on the cake.

      Reply
      1. Drama Fan

        Didn’t Piljoo find his little brother’s necklace where he was buried? I think that is the one Moo Hyun “retrieved” when instructed by Piljoo. Piljoo kept his own necklace after Moo Hyun gave it to him.

        Reply
        1. Snow Flower

          Yes. He gave her instructions how to find his brother’s necklace. His own was already stored in his safe. Thank you for clarifying. I had forgotten what happened to the brother’s necklace.

          Reply
        2. Georgia Peach

          Drama Fan! Thank you. I’d forgotten about how PJ had come to have donseang’s necklace! Yes. For sure that is the one he gave up to MR and BC. I do recall it was duller than the one MH had kept and knew this was the clue for us to know which one is which. Mystery solved!!!

          Reply
    1. Trent

      The ending of ep. 20 has entered the chat…

      (this will come down to personal taste, I realize, but the end of ep. 20 was just way more viciously devastating than I was imagining…)

      Reply
    2. Snow Flower

      Grandpa realizing that his own flesh and blood is beating him at his own game…

      Reply
  3. Trent

    Okay, y’all wanna know how much this show is messing with my head?

    Per usual, as soon as possible I rushed off to watch the next two episodes (G–, the ending of both 19 and 20, but especially 20…). And then not long after, I went to bed, and ended up dreaming about it. More or less a continuation from the end of ep. 20.

    My subconscious has issues, y’all. (don’t worry, my dream was way chaotic; I’m sure Show is much more tightly plotted and in control).

    Reply
  4. Leslie

    At the conclusion of Ep. 18 and still not sure what to expect for an ending… but I wonder if Secretary Oh, in the role of secret shameful father, is going to be instrumental in it? I get the vibe he is stepping off Team Mal Ran after 35+ years, and that could mean loose cannon. Total speculation.

    Boo Cheon was raised by a viper as a spoiled chaebol heir, and it didn’t do anything for his motivation or character. In the first half of Show, his selfishness, laziness, and willingness to be manipulated felt like egregious attributes to me. I was so innocent then. At this point, they seem like relatively minor flaws compared to the venality and turpitude of other family members. So, currently I’m hoping that whatever revenge is taken, by whomever, lands more lightly on hapless-ish Boo Cheon than I would have ten episodes ago. He’s already lost Mo Hyun forever, the only person who loved him with a sincere and uncalculating heart, and the one person who could have saved him from the same venal life as his family’s. I guess that only matters if you care about the state of your soul…?

    Speaking of souls, I can’t help but worry about Pil Joo’s as we near the end and his options for redemption narrow. Are we even supposed to want his redemption, or…? I don’t know, I don’t know. Show, you’re challenging me!

    I don’t have confidence that Pil Joo is the only one intent on and capable of vengeance as Show winds down. Where will the next blows come from? It’s all making me uneasy. On to Ep. 19 & 20 for more angst…? The ellipses say it all. 😬

    Reply
    1. Leslie

      Although, now reading @MC’s comments for the first time, I might have to evaluate at my position on Boo Cheon once again. 😂 Love a good open thread for this reason.

      Reply
      1. MC

        And yours made me re-think mine too! Love the open thread for the alternate perspectives.

        I agree that Boo-cheon was a spoilt and sheltered chaebol who was raised by a viper who was brought up to feel that he was entitled to everything and anything he wanted (or what Mal-ran wanted for him). In the flashbacks he honestly seemed like a nice bumbling guy who, without his Jang background, would’ve been a normal salaryman who would’ve played around with women and been on par with Seo-won (but would she have liked him without Jang surname and the heir to the throne thing? Hmmm!!)

        Ok sorry for digressing! As I was saying he was probably brought up to feel entitled – and probably did always get things his way, with Pil-joo smoothening the road and removing all obstacles with his crafty ways. He seemed a rather weak character to me in the early episodes. I honestly feel that him realising Pil-joo was a Jang too was such a pivotal moment. He could’ve chosen to let go of the dream that had been placed upon him (as he had said so in the past it wasn’t his desire to be chairman) and let Yeo Cheon take the Chairman role. And that would’ve been easy, given his character. But he chose to fight back, step up to the challenge (probably his first ever “fight”) and to reclaim what he probably thought was due to him. I did actually like the fact that he stepped up to fight. He’d been coasting along on Pil-hoo, Mal-tan’s coattails and the Jang name for his entire life. But the way he steps up – going to threaten Seo-won and steps to cut Pil-joo out of the picture (hiding Cheong-A’s medical breakthroughs, bringing Yeo Cheon back, telling Secretary Oh to murder Pil-joo) were all calculated, pre-meditated, planned actions. This man knows what he’s doing and regardless of the consequences. Whether this sort of cunning and ruthlessness is nature or nurture is up for debate but I do see him as acting purposefully and deliberately and hence deserving of whatever comes his way. I do admit that losing Mo-hyun to Pil-joo hurt him a lot. But he could’ve focused on getting her back and not fight and plot his way to the Chairman role. He’ll be an interesting enemy for Pil-joo. Mal-ran is old news. Bring on the war between the ex-friends!

        Reply
    2. Trent

      Yeah, I don’t know what redemption would look like here, to be honest. Although I’m open to something. If we were following the classical Western revenge saga model of Edmond Dantes (Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo), we’d definitely get the redemption arc after the intricately plotted revenge. But I don’t see it happening like that here.

      If there is some sort of redemption to be had, I’m fairly certain it will involve Mo-hyun, whether or not they “end up together.” For purposes of dramatic symmetry, it would be satisfying for her to have saved his body near the beginning, only to save his soul at the end. But that’s just rank speculation for now.

      Reply
      1. Leslie

        Agree that Mo Hyun would likely be involved in any Pil Joo redemption scenario, and I, too, would enjoy the symmetry of it. But it’s hard to imagine Pil Joo giving up his decades long quest or even mitigating it. But – Show has had so many cards up its sleeve that it’s risky to bet against any outcome. 😉 Luckily, we’ll have our answers within a couple of weeks.

        I wonder how Pil Joo imagines he will feel once he’s wreaked his havoc?

        Reply
        1. Trent

          I don’t know whether Pil-joo has imagined it at all. I think that for him, his revenge is a solemn duty and obligation that he owes first to his younger brother, whose life was ended, and second to his mother, whose life was shattered. It is, I think, on the level of a sacred oath that he has to sublimate all else to. For instance, I think he loves Mo-hyun, and he’s lying when he claims to have put his feelings for her aside. But he won’t allow that to undermine that foundational piece of his character: he must fulfill that obligation to his brother and mother. To imagine a world beyond that would undermine that unity and intensity of purpose, perhaps fatally. I think that’s Pil-joo’s tragedy, as much as anything.

          Reply
  5. MC

    Seriously? What the heck just happened in these 2 episodes? I feel like everytime I watch the odd-number episode it’s insane enough but when I watch the even-numbered one I am promptly blown right out of the water and I kind of forget what happens in the odd-numbered one, because the reveals in the even-numbered ones are mindblown.

    So. Where do we even start?

    I really really liked how the show does Boo-cheon’s turn away from Pil-joo. It was so gradual and carefully done, it felt so natural and seamless, with all the buildup during the various scenes between Boo-cheon and Pil-joo (eg the apple scene in previous episodes ratcheting up tension-wise till the shooting range one). And then when he recalls Yeo-cheon (because clearly the enemy of your enemy is your friend and now Pil-joo is the enemy). Woah. I wonder how Pil-joo felt, in that moment, realising that Boo-cheon is now cognizant and now his enemy? As much as Pil-joo hates the Cheong-A Group, the two did grow up together and have some happy memories and past together.

    And – “Kill Pil-joo for me”, like what?!?! I was so surprised. How does Boo-cheon know that Secretary Oh would actually be willing to kill? I agree that Boo-cheon probably knos that Secretary Oh is his father (or at least highly suspects it – the way he confides in him about Pil-joo’s secret and telling Secretar Oh not to wait for him anymore felt like a “I know you’re my dad but this is how I’m going to handle it – by not acknowledging you officially”.

    Poor Mo-hyun. It must be hard to realise your entire world was based on a lie. I still don’t really understand what truth is she looking for, by staying in Mooshimwon. As horrible as Mal-ran is, the way she described Congressman Na’s behaviour “he wanted this dream very badly and this was how he could achieve it” was indeed truth. To be honest, Mo-hyun COULD have walked away from all this earlier without knowing the truth of the deceit around her life. I feel for her, but on the other hand, I don’t really get why she is still staying on. To take revenge? I feel a poor naive lamb like her would surely be eaten alive.

    I do feel sorry for Seo-won. I also freaked out when Boo-cheon stabbed the dagger into the cushion. That was really scary. I hope that Seo-won and her son will make it out as unscathed as possible. I do feel sorry for this Seo-won, trying vainly to be brave and stand up for what’s due to her son but so clearly out of her depth.

    I’m impressed by Pil-joo’s daring moves in this episode. Telling the truth to Mo-hyun and also informing Mal-ran and Boo-cheon that he’d done so? And the way he reveals himself to Grandfather – oof. “Grandfather”. Woah. I can’t imagine the fallout.

    I surely did not expect this reveal so soon. I wonder what is coming up… there are still 6 more episodes. This show sure knows where it’s going and has a clear plan to get there! I love the writing on this one, seriously. On a more superficial level, the way he suited up before heading over to Mooshimjae – that was soo mesmerising. Heart eyes, anyone? This Jang Hyuk…. I definitely see why everyone loves him!!! <3 <3 <3

    Reply
    1. Ele Nash

      I just opened the chat back up and again that picture of Jang Hyuk looking decidedly, um, intense, made me feel all sorts of feelings (as Trent ably said before re Mohyun) and very very heart eyes all over again! Ah, MC, glad you can appreciate the Hyuk effect 😍😍😍
      And agree the show has done a good job (as has Jang Seung-jo) of making Bucheon be shocked, hurt, afraid by Piljoo’s twenty-year lie before he grits his teeth determined to not lie down and let Piljoo take the Cheong A throne. I love the fact he’s hurt first and foremost. That feels authentic as he seems to me to be instinctively a warm person who loves easily but hasn’t had a lot of unconditional love in return.
      My sympathy for Seowon (apart from the truly terrible blip when she, smirking, showed Mohyun the photos of Bucheon and their son) is fairly consistent too. True, wanting that Jang name for her son may have more to do with status than recognition but I feel like she’s as much a mouse as Bucheon, desperately trying to be a viper but getting nasty bites.
      Hmm, I think Mohyun is searching for evidence. I agree, Mal Ran did actually tell her the truth – but perhaps she needs actual hard evidence. Maybe she has plans for revenge…?

      Reply
  6. Ele Nash

    Eek, kfangurl, that top image is just totally doing strange things to me 🤤 Thank you as always for a great summary of these two episodes which I felt like belonged to Mohyun. Poor Mohyun but really I was so impressed with her presence of mind to tell Piljoo and Bucheon the two things that would hurt them most – I’d rather you hadn’t saved me, to Piljoo; I loved you but you threw it away, to Bucheon. Well done Mohyun. It was a shame then that she didn’t quite have the wherewithal in front of Grandpa Chairman, who swatted her like she was an annoying fly (I know it’s bad but I never fail to appreciate his audacity).

    Yes, Mal Ran almost congratulating Bucheon for threatening Seowon with a knife… Ugh. She pulled his hair for saving his son, his ear for protecting his wife, but a smile for being crazy. Didn’t you think Bucheon with that knife was acting like Piljoo might? Isn’t he trying to be Piljoo to beat back Piljoo? If Piljoo is the dragon, is Bucheon gluing on the scales and faking dragon in the hope he’s convincing enough to become one? Yes, I know he’s not good but frankly neither is Piljoo. Both are resorting to manipulative tactics to get what they want, it’s just Piljoo’s motivation is far, far more personal, dark, deliberate. I suppose most viewers will be glad to watch Piljoo burn Bucheon with his fiery breath but I still maintain Bucheon is at heart a mouse forced to live in a vipers nest and there’s something so pathetic and desperate in that, I just still feel sorry for him. Sorrier for Mohyun, of course, but still he has my sympathy too. I wonder if he’s guessed Secretary Oh must be his father? I feel like he does know but will never ever acknowledge it. They’re quite alike really – Mal Ran having moulded them both into shapes that are not who they are, hacking away their square edges to fit them in a circle hole to suit her ambitions.

    Argh, Piljoo’s face, struggling to say the words to Grandpa Chairman that he must have practiced saying over and over, picturing for twenty years this moment, knowing he can’t go back. Stepping out of the shadows into bright sunlight and while Piljoo is a dragon, I worry is he still too small when facing the mighty Grandpa dragon. Has Piljoo moved too soon? Ooh, roll on next week!

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  7. Trent

    Wow. So, like, I was definitely anticipating the reveal of Pil-joo’s true identity to grandpa, but I wasn’t expecting it quite so soon (although yes, fair, it comes at the 3/4 point…). I was thinking it would maybe a last 2-3 episodes reveal, which just goes to underline what some of us said last time: we don’t really know where Show is taking us! Definitely a powerful scene, the crown prince, in hiding all these years, finally unveils his power before the dark lord… (yes, I did imprint on epic fantasy at too young an age, why do you ask?).

    So this foregrounds something I was speculating on just a couple episodes ago–grandpa holding forth on why an adopted Pil-joo could never be countenanced because he wasn’t of the bloodline, but adoption would give him the step he needed to gobble up the actual Jangs. But what (I wondered) is grandpa’s objection if the blood connection is proven? Is it solely the illegitimacy that is disqualifying? Grandpa is a ruthless old bastard (figuratively, not literally, in his case (so far as we know)), and we know grandpa has a deep and healthy respect for Pil-joo’s ruthlessness and ability, so what is he going to do now that “Jang Eun-cheon” has been revealed? (Once he gets over flipping out that he’s willfully remained concealed right under his nose for so long). I guess we are about to find out… (Reader, I was like a toddler who needed to pee, shifting from one leg to the other all week, in my (ultimately successful) effort not to peek ahead).

    I feel like you kind of have to have a heart of stone not to bleed at least a little bit for Mo-hyun these episodes. Even more than her father’s (attempted) suicide, this is just a shattering of her world’s foundation. I always expected that this was going to be inevitable–she would learn how her entire relationship with Boo-cheon was manipulated into existence from the start. And when Pil-joo was so meticulous about preparing the reveal, once he decided to do it, I knew it was not going to pull any punches. I do give him credit for being transparent to a fault (except for trying to protect the extent of her father’s participation). That said, it was still an utterly sh*t thing to do from the inception, manipulating an innocent like that in service of his own revenge.

    When he sat her down and then started that slide show with pictures of what we immediately realize must be pictures of her as a child…I’m like, oh crap, this is going to hurt more than I thought. And indeed it did: that plaintive conclusion where Mo-hyun said, in effect, you said once I knew all this, I would want to cancel ever saving you, but that’s not true. I don’t regret saving you…I want to cancel you saving me in the car, because better I died before ever having to hear this ugly truth. Such painful words.

    I do still think that Show may have left a path for Mo-hyun to continue to learn more details, process those details and her feelings, and reason through to a place where she can forgive Pil-joo, or at least accept the broad contours of what he’s done. But I don’t know if Show will walk that path. I guess I’ll find out soon, enh?

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    1. Shyama

      While I’ve been swooning over Jang Hyuk, I couldn’t help but notice what amazing actors Jang Seung Jo and Park Se Young are!

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      1. MC

        Oh yes, the entire cast has been amazing. Jang Seung Jo especially. From slimey to cunning and all the shades between. So well done!

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      2. j3ffc

        Shout out to Lee Soon-Jae for an outstanding performance throughout but especially the subtle acting during the Big Reveal at the end of the episode. With the one exception that I mentioned earlier, the performances have been excellent throughout this series. I have been come around to admire Park Se-young’s work since, as the series progressed, she has had more interesting emotions to convey and more to do in general.

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      3. Snow Flower

        I was very impressed with Jang Seung Jo’s performance on my first watch. Now on my second watch I am still blown away by his acting. I also have an appreciation for Park Se Young’s portrayal of Mo Hyeon.

        Reply

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